'I can't grieve': Mum speaks out after daughter takes her own life following tirade of abuse

ITV News Meridian's Derek Johnson reports.

The mother of a woman who took her own life after suffering years of coercive control at the hands of a man she loved has said his jail term is not long enough.

Chloe Holland, from Southsea, was the victim of harrowing physical violence and emotional abuse over a year long period from her partner, Marc Masterton.

He is now starting a near five year jail sentence for his crimes, but Sharon Holland feels the punishment is 'totally unfair'.

Chloe left behind a one-year-old boy, in what police said was one of the most appalling and heart-breaking cases of domestic abuse they have ever had to deal with.

Marc Masterton was jailed for three and a half years. Credit: Hampshire Police

Appearing at Portsmouth Crown Court on 16 August this year, Masterton, formerly of Montgomerie Road in Southsea, admitted a charge of coercive and controlling behaviour.

The court how Masterton would routinely control her appearance, assault her, isolate her from friends and family, belittle her, and shockingly tell her to take her own life.

Sharon told ITV Meridian the sentence didn't feel like enough for what Masterton did to her daughter.

"I mean no amount of time is ever going to bring my daughter back," she said. ]

"They could give him 25 years and it still wouldn't feel like enough...

"For coercion and controlling behaviour it must be higher than five years, that's really not fair if they have contributed to someone else's death."

  • Sharon Holland describes how Masterton showed 'no remorse' for his actions.

Masterton carried out the abuse all over Hampshire, with assaults taking place in hotels and hostels and on public transport.

On one occasion, at Masterton’s address in Southsea, the victim threatened to kill herself after he assaulted her with a dumbbell.

In response, Masterton handed her a knife and ordered her to harm herself.

Other horrifying instances of abuse were relayed to the court, including an incident at a Travelodge whereby Masterton beat the victim whilst stating aloud, ‘say goodbye to your son’.

It heard that Masterton would deliberately give the victim black eyes so she would not be able to see her son.

He also tracked her phone, and even when she was able to break away from the relationship and seek refuge, he found her and sucked her back into his cycle of abuse.

  • Sharon Holland tells ITV Meridian she still hasn't registered the fact her daughter has gone.

Now Sharon says she will continue to fight so that no other person has to go through what her daughter went through.

She told ITV Meridian she will keep going so Chloe has a legacy that helps other people.

"I've just got keep going for her and that's it," she said.

"You know for her legacy, to try and help other people. I don't want anyone to ever feel like this again."

Masterton was handed a 41-month jail sentence for the coercive and controlling behaviour, and an additional four months to be served consecutively for aggravated vehicle taking in Romsey.

Sharon hugs a soft bear which contains her daughter's ashes Credit: ITV Meridian

The case was investigated by police staff investigator Nikki Brogan, who said: “This is one of the most appalling and heart-breaking cases of domestic abuse I have ever come across.

“The violence, control and psychological abuse suffered by this poor young woman absolutely destroyed her life. She felt there was no escape from her abuser.

"Her family said that during the times she was away from Masterton she seemed positive, but when he drew her back into his web of abuse she simply disappeared – becoming withdrawn and unable to eat.

“This man is pure evil. What he did was utterly unforgivable, and the judge remarked that he is clearly a danger to women before sending him to prison.

“Sadly, the victim in this case was unable to see justice served, but I want it to be known that she was so brave, and it was because of her evidence, her strength, her courage that this despicable man is now behind bars.”

Chloe was a girl who was full of life her mother said Credit: Sharon Holland

Detective chief inspector Nikki Burton said: “The evidence gathered over the course of this investigation is harrowing, and my thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim in this case.

“Domestic abusers perpetrate some of the worst offending imaginable, leaving lifelong physical and emotional scars on those affected.

“We do not tolerate any form of it. We investigate instances of domestic abuse as a Force priority, and will do everything in our power to work with specialist support services to help victims.

“I commend the bravery of the woman in this case who reported the abuse to police. Her evidence was used posthumously as she had sadly died before this case reached the courts, but the power of her words and her evidence has helped protect other women by ensuring a domestic abuser has been jailed.

“I want other people out there who are being abused and suffering in silence to please report this. I encourage you to speak to police, but recognise that not everyone will have the confidence to do so immediately.

"We are here for you and will listen, but if you don’t want to speak to a police officer there are independent support services out there that can give you the help you need.”

Support and advice:

The Samaritans are available to contact 24/7, 365 days a year. You can call them on 116 123 or go to their website.

Hampshire Police has information about how you can seek independent support, and the ways in which you can report domestic abuse, visit: https://www.hampshire.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/

You can also report abuse to police by calling 101. In the event of an emergency or if someone is in danger, dial 999.

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